2024 Environmental Trends

Environmental Trends to Drive Impact for 2024

11th December 2023

2023 was a great year for sustainability, as more organisations than ever before took steps to reduce their carbon emissions and environmental impact. However, there is still plenty to do to achieve the UK government’s targets of limiting global warming to 1.5 C.

At GEP Environmental, we work with organisations of all sizes to help them become more sustainable, and we know firsthand that not all sustainability activities are created equal when it comes to reducing carbon emissions in an impactful way.

How will the most environmentally conscious organisations be reducing emissions in the new year? We’ve shared the trends to watch (and consider implementing) below:

Science-Based Targets

The gold standard when it comes to sustainability, Science-Based Targets (SBTs) are unmatched when it comes to driving real impact across decarbonisation initiatives. In 2024, we expect to see more organisations setting Science-Based Targets. These targets benefit your organisation in the following

  • Improving reputation
  • Supporting decarbonisation within your sector
  • Complementing existing Net Zero and wider sustainability strategies

Even better news, the Science-Based Target Initiative has recently updated their definition of small and medium sized enterprises, making this sustainability standard more accessible than ever before for ambitious SMEs with corporate sustainability goals.

Scope 3 Emissions

On average, Scope 3 Emissions comprise nearly 70% of a business’ carbon footprint, so they’re an essential part of any sustainability strategy that’s serious about results. How can your organisation tackle Scope 3 Emissions?

  • Conduct a Scope 3 Inventory Assessment: curious about reporting and reducing Scope 3 emissions, but unsure of how? A Scope 3 Inventory Assessment assesses your organisation’s upstream and downstream emissions to identify carbon hotspots, or areas that produce the most carbon. The result? An assessment with a clear starting point, allowing your organisation to be as impactful as possible when it comes to forward sustainability planning.
  • Consider a Supply Chain Analysis: Scope 3 Emissions encompass upstream and downstream emissions for your organisation, and one of the greatest opportunities for decarbonisation is your organisation’s supply chain. Our team of experts can help your organisation understand, identify and communicate with the businesses in your supply chain that impact your sustainability performance, and help make a plan to address them.

Strategic Planning through ESG

Sustainability is no longer a nice to have – it’s a need to have. Sustainability policies present an opportunity to instil sustainability practices in the very fabric of a business – essential for delivering tangible results, and ensuring your organisation is around for years to come. In 2024, we expect many organisations to take the first steps toward embedding sustainability through an Environmental, Social and Governance Policy or a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy. These policies are an excellent way to show employees and customers alike that your organisation is committed to sustainability at every level, critical for ensuring your future in today’s environment, while providing a platform for engagement and buy in from stakeholders.

Legal Compliance

Many of the UK’s large organisations are required to comply with various environmental legislation – the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) being two of the most common legal requirements. In 2024, however, the most successful organisations will be maximising these compliance opportunities, leveraging the information gathered and opportunities highlighted into their business planning. What should your organisation know about driving impact through legal compliance in 2024?

  • Leveraging information for further sustainability works: SECR and ESOS both provide a Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions boundary – meaning your organisation already has everything it needs to create a Net Zero trajectory, a Carbon Reduction Plan, or many other types of sustainability initiatives.
  • Compliance requirements are changing: the requirements for ESOS changed this year, and SECR governing bodies are set to introduce new Scope 3 reporting requirements in 2024 It’s essential to read the fine print to ensure compliance.

Our team of experts is passionate about helping organisations maximise their results, and have helped many organisations gain compliance in the ever changing landscape of ESOS and SECR. For more information about driving impact through compliance, get in touch today.

Behavioural Change

The statistics are in – how people behave within your business has just as much of an impact on carbon emissions as the energy efficiency of the building. We expect many organisations to focus on driving behavioural change within their sustainability strategies in 2024, launching turn-off campaigns, recycling initiatives, and bespoke training for operational and strategic members of the business.

Energy Audits

Energy Audits target an organisation’s energy usage, reviewing energy consumption, highlight the good and bad practices observed and making recommendations for improvement. Energy audits are an excellent first line of defence for organisations seeking to tackle the energy crisis, as many businesses are able to decrease their energy usage and therefore energy costs in tandem. In addition to making your organisation more cost efficient, these audits have the added benefit of making your business more sustainable and competitive for consumers. Funding is available for SMEs and other organisations to carry out this activity – for more information, get in touch today.

Environmental Training

Environmental training is a critical part of solving the climate crisis – engaged and knowledgeable staff are best placed to drive impact. GEP Environmental offers a range of open and bespoke courses that can help your organisation with a range of environmental topics, including:

  • Carbon Footprint Methodology and Best Practice: our IEMA-Certified Carbon Footprinting and Reporting Course is best in its class, offering a comprehensive overview of the skills and methodology required to calculate a carbon footprint and manage carbon within your organisation.
  • Sustainability Strategy: curious about what a sustainability strategy is, and how it can be deployed effectively across your organisation? Our IEMA-Certified Pathways to Net Zero Carbon course is the perfect way to learn about sustainable business practices and how to implement them across your organisation.

In addition to these open courses, our team offers a range of bespoke courses focusing on Scope 3 Emissions, Advanced Carbon Footprinting, Life Cycle Assessments and more. Get in touch with our team today to speak about training opportunities for your organisation.

Ready to drive impact in 2024? Our team of experts can help. For more information, or to book a consultation with one of our Environmental Consultants, get in touch today.

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